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Halloween, the most popular non-official holiday in the United States, has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”).  The festival was a celebration of the end of the harvest season.  Samhain was a time used to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter.  The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31st, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and could cause sickness or damage crops.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has these Halloween safety tips for children and their adult companions.    The most important tips are:

Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups.  Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. WALK and don’t run from house to house.

Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.  Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

Look both ways before crossing the street. Use crosswalks wherever possible.  Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

In addition to going trick-or-treating, you might want to see Ghosts of Dublin: 7:30-9:30 p.m. Oct. 30. Dublin Heritage Park and Museum, 6600 Donlon Way, Kolb Sunday School Barn. A glimpse into Dublin’s past. Author historian Rita Szollos shares pictures and stories of local people and places. Follow lighted path to Kolb House and peek inside the family parlor. Or venture into the cemetery for a flashlight tour. $5 Residents, $6 Non-Residents Activity #40043. 925-452-2100.

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